unsheathed – Chapter 79: Spring Welcome Seal

Chapter 79: Spring Welcome Seal

Chapter 79: Spring Welcome Seal

Even before leaving the mountains, Chen Ping'an could already sense that the town was undergoing drastic changes. At the peak of True Earth Mountain, he could see dust and soil flying in all directions, and on the pinnacle of Distant Scene Mountain, he spotted close to 100 fit and strong young men, most of whom were manual laborers working at the kilns, and they were in the process of cutting down giant trees.

Chen Ping'an approached one of the men, whom he had worked with in the kilns, and he learned from that man that the town was planning to construct a county office, a wenchang pavilion, a martial sage temple, and a city god temple, all at once. The construction jobs had been ordered by the new kiln supervision official, Wu Yuan.

As for his other title of county governor, the town's residents had no idea what that entailed, nor what his exact duties were. However, they didn't care about all of that anyway. All they knew was that these construction jobs were a stable source of employment, and the wages being offered were far more alluring than what had been offered in the dragon kilns in the past.

With the town stripped of its right to produce imperial ware, all of the kilns had been forced to cease operations, leaving the kiln's workers in a very difficult situation. They could only offer their manual labor services to farmland owners for meager wages that were barely enough to feed their families. Hence, they were all extremely grateful for this opportunity, and they viewed Wu Yuan as a generous messiah.

Furthermore, even the wealthy old men of the four surnames and ten clans treated Wu Yuan with the utmost respect, despite the fact that they were far older than him. The way that they spoke to and interacted with him all indicated that they were trying to get on his good side, and that certainly hadn't escaped the notice of the town's residents. Most of the people living in the town were lacking in education, but that didn't mean that they weren't observant.

Wu Yuan had asked the heads of the four surnames and ten clans to hire around 500 to 600 of the town's fit young men to go into the mountains and fell trees to be transported back to the town.

Aside from being sent into the mountains to fell trees, there were also many men from the town tasked with transporting from the creek. The county office was going to be constructed at the town's eastern gate, and Zheng Dafeng's earthen hut had been knocked down, following which a new foundation had been laid. Even the dilapidated wooden gate that had been there for as long as anyone could remember had been taken down.

While leaving the mountains, Chen Ping'an didn't choose to take any of the winding mountain paths. Instead, he waded straight into the creek before skipping downstream from rock to rock. In doing so, he would be able to save a lot of time.

Along the way, he was spotted by some of the town's residents, but none of them were alarmed by what they saw. Most of them knew that there was an orphan from Clay Vase Alley who had always excelled at picking medicinal herbs and burning charcoal, and that his speed was unmatched in the mountains.

All of a sudden, Chen Ping'an stopped at the point where two creeks intersected. Around 20 feet up ahead was a bumpy cliff that was riddled with potholes, and a group of people were gathered in front of the cliff.

Furthermore, there was a pair of physically imposing young men among them, and one was standing atop a slab of bluestone jutting out of the water, while the other was standing on the shore near the cliff. Each of them had a blade strapped to their waist, sheathed in an ornate golden scabbard. Both of them were dressed in tight-fitting black robes with hairpins in their hair, and they were giving off menacing auras.

In the instant that Chen Ping'an appeared, both of them immediately turned their attention to him, staring intently at him, while their hands had already crept onto the hilts of their blades.

Chen Ping'an was standing on the spot with his basket full of medicinal herbs, and his expression remained completely unchanged.

Recently, Chen Ping'an had endured many battles of life and death. First, it was Cai Jinjian and Fu Nanhua. After that, he had to flee for his life from the Mountain-moving Ape of Sun Scorch Mountain, and most recently, he had faced Ma Kuxuan in battle at the immortal tomb. During those battles, he had faced immortals, a monstrous beast, and a child who was blessed by the will of the heavens, yet he had managed to survive all of those ordeals.

Hence, even though the average resident of the town would've felt extremely fearful under the menacing gaze of the two men, Chen Ping'an barely even batted an eyelid at the sight of them.

However, he didn't want to attract any unnecessary trouble, so he decided to make his way onto shore before taking the creekside mountain path back to the town. Right as he did so, he noticed a young man turn with a smile to his blade-wielding subordinate, and following an instruction from the young man, his subordinate immediately released the hilt of his blade.

The young man was seated on the ground with his legs crossed, and as he rose to his feet, Chen Ping'an discovered that he was even taller than his two blade-wielding subordinates, and his skin was as fair and delicate as a woman's, while his facial features were also slightly feminine. He waved at Chen Ping'an with a warm smile, then adopted the town's dialect as he called out, "Don't be afraid, we're not bad people. Just continue on your original path."

He was clearly not very fluent in the town's dialect, but Chen Ping'an was still able to understand what he had just said. After a brief hesitation, Chen Ping'an returned the man's smile, then pointed at the shore, indicating that he was going to step onto shore and stay out of their way.

Before the man had a chance to say anything further, Chen Ping'an quickly skipped onto the shore like a lithe and graceful panther, and before long, he had already vanished into the lush forest.

The young man lowered his hand with a slightly embarrassed expression, while his subordinates were fighting back the urge to laugh.

A rather awkward smile appeared on the young man's face as he said, "That boy sure is fast. See what I was saying about this place? It may not be as lavish and opulent as the capital city here, but small places like this have their own unique charm."

Everything would've been fine had the young man not said anything, but everyone around him immediately burst into raucous laughter upon hearing his awkward musings.

The young man was none other than Wu Yuan, the town's new kiln supervision official and the first governor of Dragon Spring County. Even though his subordinates were having a laugh at his expense, he remained completely unbothered, and he sat back down before continuing the discussion from before. "Just the plaques for the Dragon Spring County office, the wenchang pavilion, the martial sage temple, and the city god temple will require 56 pieces at the very least.

Jewel Small World has integrated very well with the Great Li Empire, and not only have the small world's geographic traits been mostly preserved, there hasn't even been a single major disturbance, and His Majesty is very pleased, which is why he has specially bestowed a plaque upon the wenchang pavilion."

"Master Wu, did you not request a piece of calligraphy for our county office from His Majesty?" a young man interjected with a smile.

Wu Yuan heaved a faint sigh in response. "Of course I did, but His Majesty refused, so there's nothing I can do. Having said that, His Majesty is not to be blamed. After all, this is just a small county office, and it simply can't be justified for His Majesty to bestow a piece of calligraphy upon this place. If he sets such a precedent, then everyone else will ask for the same thing, and that simply won't do."

Everyone nodded in response upon hearing this.

Wu Yuan continued, "Thankfully, Mr. Liu and the imperial academy have each promised to send a pair of plaques to be hung up on the county office and the martial sage temple. The problem now is that we're still missing three for the wenchang pavilion and two for the city god temple. Do any of you have any ideas on how we can make up those numbers?

Will we have to resort to my personal calligraphy? My handwriting is so terrible that even my master has given up on me. Of course, I don't mind as long as none of you think it would be too embarrassing to have my calligraphy hung up on such important buildings. I've always wanted to be able to put my calligraphy onto plaques, and this may be the only opportunity I'll ever get!"

The young man who had spoken earlier contemplated the problem momentarily, then said, "I'll write a letter to my grandfather. He's on good terms with Master Bai Qiu, and I'll see if he can convince Master Bai Qiu to temporarily come out of retirement and bless us with his penmanship."

Wu Yuan patted the young man on the shoulder, then said, "In that case, I'm leaving my honor in your hands. If we don't have enough plaques, then my reputation will be swept to the ground, and you'll be solely responsible."

The young man's expression immediately stiffened, and he felt as if he had dug a hole for himself.

His colleagues all turned to with sympathetic expressions. Wu Yuan was renowned for his shamelessness, so everyone was very reluctant to make promises to him, and sure enough, he had just claimed his latest unwitting victim.

The young man was serving as Wu Yuan's secretary. In the northern empires of Eastern Treasured Vial Continent, there were two types of secretaries, scholarly secretaries, and martial secretaries. The former was like an advisor, providing counsel and solutions to problems, while the latter were the pair of blade-wielding young men, acting as Wu Yuan's personal bodyguards.

However, secretaries were considered to be informal officials who weren't formally recognized by the imperial court. It was often the case that the officials themselves were tasked with selecting their own secretaries, whether that be from their own clans or from elsewhere. Of course, there were also secretaries assigned by the imperial court as well, and all of those secretaries received a salary from the Great Li Empire.

Wu Yuan came from quite a humble background, so he was unable to afford to hire his own secretaries, and his secretaries had been assigned to him by the imperial court.

However, Dragon Spring County was only a tiny territory on the map of the Great Li Empire, so he should've only been entitled to one scholarly secretary and one martial secretary from the imperial court, but both of the blade-wielding martial secretaries assigned to him were clearly generals who had secured significant accolades in the Great Li Empire's army. Otherwise, they wouldn't have had the right to carry those ornate blades.

In reality, the fact that Wu Yuan had been assigned as the first head official of Dragon Spring County was already very telling.

His teacher was the imperial preceptor of the Great Li Empire, the man with the nickname of Embroidered Tiger. while his future father-in-law was a pillar general that had defended the borders of the Great Li Empire for half his life.

After some fooling around, a serious look appeared on Wu Yuan's face as he said, "The construction of these four buildings already entails a huge workload, and that's not even to mention the task of site selection for the immortal tomb and the mountain of porcelain.

Master Ruan and the four surnames and ten clans have all given ambiguous responses on this subject, so this is clearly not going to be an easy task to complete. However, the main thing that we have to worry about right now is when the ministry of rites, the ministry of astronomy, and the imperial academy come together to assign mountain gods and river gods to this place.

At the moment, there's a great deal of resistance when it comes to the proposed candidate for the role of great mountain god, and even His Majesty is rather hesitant about how to proceed. Otherwise, he wouldn't be visiting our Dragon Spring County in person."

Wu Yuan looked around, and the expressions on the faces of his subordinates were all quite grim. He pulled out a dry biscuit band took a bite, then attempted to lighten the mood as he mused, "It's not up to us to decide whether the temple of the great mountain god will be constructed on Cloud Drape Mountain, or whether Cloud Drape Mountain will become the new northern peak of our Great Li Empire.

We're just small fry serving in the county office, so there's no need for us to worry about such matters. Just let those above us do whatever they want, and we'll only be responsible for carrying out their verdicts."

Sure enough, everyone's mood was lightened slightly upon hearing this.

Wu Yuan continued to chew on his mouthful of dry biscuit, and after a brief hesitation, he continued, "I have a piece of news that's both good news, and also bad news. Following the fall of the Lu Empire, the problem of what we should do with the former citizens of the fallen empire has always been a huge predicament. Our Dragon Spring County will be receiving somewhere between 5,000 to 10,000 prisoners.

All of them come from different backgrounds, and on the way here, they'll be strictly overseen by soldiers of our Great Li Empire. This is both beneficial and detrimental to our Dragon Spring County. The good thing is that our population will be bolstered, while the downside is that this influx of outsiders could potentially make everything quite chaotic and unpredictable.

We're not very familiar with the town's existing residents to begin with, and this is only going to compound our woes. Hence, we'll have no choice but to do everything in our power to win over the affluent and powerful clans in the town to assist us."

"Can we divide these powerful clans so they'll be easier to manage?" the young scholarly secretary suggested.

Wu Yuan immediately shook his head without any hesitation. "That'll be very difficult. We've only just arrived here, and we still haven't established a stable foundation yet. As opposed to doing something radical that could backfire on us, it's much better to take things slowly.

We've come to a place with a very complex history, and of course, our goal is to pave a path to a bright future ahead for all of us, but in order to accomplish this, we must be willing to endure the inevitable hardships that come before we can reap the rewards. If any of you want to get rich or earn promotions in just a year or two, then I'd advise you to leave right now. I can pay for your trip back to the capital city."

The six scholarly and martial secretaries all wore determined expressions, and none of them displayed any intention of backing down.

"We must remember at all times to proceed with caution and take things slowly," Wu Yuan concluded.

This was a lesson that he had learned firsthand, not long after he had arrived at the town. At the time, he had made the executive decision to draw upon the Great Li Empire's forces to strike down that cultivator from Purple Smoke River.

He hadn't requested permission from the emperor and he had carried out this operation at the risk of being impeached by the imperial court. His intention was to win over Master Ruan through this gesture so that he could use the esteemed Sage's authority to keep the four surnames and ten clans in check for him.

As it turned out, no impeachment order had come from the imperial court, but Master Ruan's reaction had been far from positive. Even now, as Wu Yuan thought back to that decision, he was struck by the urge to give himself a hard slap.

"Are those prisoners going to be put to work to develop these barren mountains?" someone asked.

Wu Yuan nodded in response. "Aside from that, the imperial court will also be sending those two juvenile Mountain-moving Apes here, as well as the Peak-shifting Armored Warriors and Mountain-opening Puppets of the Daoist sects that specialize in talisman creation. The goal is to develop all of the 60 odd mountains within the span of a decade so that they are complete with temples, pavilions, and everything else required to make them habitable."

Expressions of longing appeared on the faces of all the people gathered around Wu Yuan.

Over at the town, tall buildings were being constructed everywhere, while a series of immortal abodes were being erected in the mountains.

Everyone exchanged a smile with one another, and there wasn't any need for further words to be exchanged. As the first-ever batch of officials assigned to the Great Li Empire's Dragon Spring County, their feats were bound to be recorded in the history books, so they were determined to unite their efforts and do everything in their power to excel in their roles.

At the summit of Cloud Drape Mountain, the boyish cultivator with the red birthmark on his glabella casually swept a sleeve through the air, and the clouds halfway up the mountain were swept aside. He then peered into the distance, spotting an ox-drawn carriage and a horse-drawn carriage from afar.

A pleased smile appeared on his face upon seeing this, and he declared, "So it begins! Qi Jingchun, if I win this bet, then the two things that you worked so hard to preserve are going to be completely destroyed. How pitiful."Discover ew chapters at novelbi(.)co

The boyish cultivator was holding a seal between two of his fingers, and the phrase "the world welcomes spring" was inscribed onto the seal's surface.

All of a sudden, the boyish cultivator squeezed his fingers together, and the seal was crushed into dust that was quickly carried away by the wind.

The reason why he was able to crush the seal so easily was because the phrase inscribed upon it had already lost all meaning, much like a person who had lost all hope.

The boyish cultivator quickly withdrew his gaze, then turned his attention to Chen Ping'an, who was on his way back to the town.

Chapter end

Chapter 31: Beating Around the Mountain
Chapter 32: Peach Leaf
Chapter 33: White Dragon Disguising as a Fish
Chapter 34: Gathered Together
Chapter 35: Licorice Root
Chapter 36: Ancient Book
Chapter 37: Fist Technique
Chapter 38: Ninth Tier
Chapter 39: Cursing the Locust Tree
Chapter 40: Returning the Courtesy
Chapter 42: Prodigy
Chapter 43: The Young Boy and the Old Dog
Chapter 44: Coming to Light
Chapter 45: Sunlight
Chapter 46: Skirt Dagger
Chapter 47: Going Alone
Chapter 48: The Hunter and the Hunted
Chapter 49: Porcelain Shard
Chapter 50 (1): One Who is Destined for Great Things
Chapter 50 (2): One Who is Destined for Great Things
Chapter 51: Confrontation
Chapter 52: Shudder
Chapter 53: Gift
Chapter 54: Facing the Enemy
Chapter 55: Feeling Proud in the Spring Breeze
Chapter 56: Nodding Bodhisattva
Chapter 57: Sword Nurturing Gourd
Chapter 58: Teacher
Chapter 59: Sleep
Chapter 60: There's a Ghost
Chapter 61: Helpless Pawn
Chapter 62: Falling Tree
Chapter 63 (1): So That's How It Is
Chapter 63 (2): So That's How It Is
Chapter 64: The Three Chens
Chapter 65: Jewel
Chapter 66: Looking Up
Chapter 67 (1): Long Journey
Chapter 67 (2): Long Journey
Chapter 68: Spring Under the Heavens
Chapter 69: Night
Chapter 70: Daylight
Chapter 71 (1): I’ll Like You for a While Longer
Chapter 71 (2): I’ll Like You for a While Longer
Chapter 72: Black Cloud
Chapter 73: Wooden Figure
Chapter 74: The Fire Dragon Roams the Water
Chapter 75: Mountain Selection
Chapter 76: Back to Back
Chapter 77: Entering the Mountains
Chapter 78: Another Dream
Chapter 79: Spring Welcome Seal
Chapter 80: Leaving the Mountains
Chapter 81: Imperial Preceptor
Chapter 82 (1): Master and Student, Senior Brother and Junio
Chapter 82 (2): Master and Student, Senior Brother and Junio
Chapter 83: Dreams
Chapter 84 (1): I Have a Sword
Chapter 84 (2): I Have a Sword
Chapter 85 (1): Conclusion of the Examination
Chapter 85 (2): Conclusion of the Examination
Chapter 86 (1): Walking the Same Path
Chapter 86 (2): Walking the Same Path
Chapter 87 (1): Little Teacher
Chapter 87 (2): Little Teacher
Chapter 88: Grand Entrance
Chapter 89: Two Heads
Chapter 90: Heavy Rain
Chapter 91: Jade Hairpin
Chapter 92 (1): Bamboo Bookcase
Chapter 92 (2): Bamboo Bookcase
Chapter 93 (1): There's a Character on the Wall
Chapter 93 (2): There's a Character on the Wall
Chapter 94: A Feast for the Eyes
Chapter 95: Too Small a Place
Chapter 96: Demons in the Mountains and Rivers
Chapter 97: Bowing to the Mountain
Chapter 98: The Meddlesome Mountain God
Chapter 99: The Mountain God and the Bamboo Saber
Chapter 100 (1): The World Beneath One's Feet
Chapter 100 (2): The World Beneath One's Feet
Chapter 101: Guard the Mountain
Chapter 102: Soaring White Ray
Chapter 103: Bamboo Building
Chapter 104: Sharing the Spoils
Chapter 105: Rootless Duckweed
Chapter 106: People from All Walks of Life
Chapter 107: Fishing Net
Chapter 108: Spring Hunting
Chapter 109: The Young Boy Has Some Words to Say
Chapter 110: All Good Things Must Come to an End
Chapter 111: Bamboo Hat
Chapter 112: Powerful Individual
Chapter 113: Unparalleled Might
Chapter 114: Seeing A'Liang Again
Chapter 115: There's an Old Scholar In the World (1)
Chapter 116: There's an Old Scholar In the World (2)
Chapter 117 (1): There's an Old Scholar In the World (3)
Chapter 117 (2): There's an Old Scholar In the World (3)
Chapter 118 (1): There's Righteousness In The World
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